Nigel Adkins paid tribute to Martyn Woolford who was the unlikely Wembley hero as Scunthorpe secured a return to the Coca-Cola Championship with a dramatic 3-2 play-off final win over Millwall.
The 23-year-old winger, who four years ago was playing at Northern Counties East outpost Glasshoughton Welfare, fired the Iron back into the second tier - a year after they were relegated - with the winner five minutes from the end of a thrilling clash.
"We brought him in from York on a free in the summer, we saw the potential in him and he's a flair player," said Adkins. "He's bided his time, got into the team and did ever so well."
He added: "Kevan Hurst started the season on the left and we brought Martyn to nurture him. He's bided his time, kept going, kept learning, worked hard and done very well for us."
Seven weeks ago Adkins' team were in tears on the Wembley turf after losing the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final to Luton by the same scoreline.
After that defeat, physio-turned-manager Adkins vowed to return to the national stadium and win the play-off final - and he was as good as his word.
"We got in a circle after that game and got rid of that horrible feeling, and we played some good football after that defeat and showed character yet again to stay in the race," he added.
"At the end of the day the fortune has favoured us in what was our 60th game of the season.
"We've assembled a group of players who will now have a chance to play in the Championship. It's a fantastic achievement to bounce straight back."
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